August 8, 2018 by Burgundy Woods
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The story of the San Antonio Shoemakers™(SAS) family begins with its founders, Terry Armstrong and Lew Hayden. The two first met in Pittsfield, Maine, but after working for a local shoe company, their vision of quality footwear and how genuine leather shoes should be made, led them to San Antonio, Texas. With determination, and the support of their families, the two pooled their resources to start their first factory in a corner of an unused aircraft hangar on the South Side of San Antonio. In 1976, San Antonio Shoemakers was born.
They started small, with just 13 shoemakers and no marketing beyond word of mouth. In 1985, SAS opened a factory in Del Rio, Texas, keeping their business in Texas while allowing for expansion. You may, like myself, remember your mom or grandmother wearing SAS Shoes loyally. The shoes back then were geared less towards fashion and more towards quality and comfort. I can remember a number of nurses and workers who spent many hours on their feet swearing by their SAS Shoes. The SAS reputation grew and became a name people could trust for comfortable, quality footwear.
These days, SAS Shoes has come a very long way. Not only in continued evolutions for comfort, but also, in the direction of style and fashion. Special attention is being given to the forward trend reports of the times, and SAS Shoes is out to prove that fashion and function can go hand in hand.
“Women have been trained to expect that pain is a part of beauty and you see an awakening happening right now about this. Women are more educated and know they don’t need to be in constant pain for their fashion.” says Cynthia Srednicki, from Dreamweaver Brand Communications, SAS’s Agency, and former fashion professional in New York for over 20 years.
Now, SAS’s line features everything from walking and athletic shoes to pumps, flats, sandals, and even boots for women. The men’s line includes walking, athletic wear, and dress shoes like the Ambassador and Diplomat. New versatile men’s shoe, Aden, launches in September and can be dressed up or down. It will be available in 116 size and width combinations.
This past June, Style Lush TV celebrated the unveiling of the new SAS Shoes billboard in Times Square when we saw the social media post go viral locally. We immediately reached out to learn more. “We had been looking for the right platform to showcase that style can feel good. When the Duffy billboard in Time Square became available, we jumped on it!” says Kim Bridgers, SAS Shoes, Director of Marketing. The digital billboard will be up until the end of the year, with new creative switching out every week.
Models for the campaign have been yet another innovative approach by SAS Shoes, featuring many prominent San Antonio community members from all walks of life. Some recognizable faces you may have encountered on social media include Uche Ogba of Bethany East PR and Christina Coker of Champagne Taste Beer Budget. Other models include Georgette Lockwood, Raeshel Beard, Derrick Barrios and Jennifer Hyde. “It reflects real people! Most of the fashion industry ads use the same body type of a 5’10, 100 pound model, which doesn’t always resonate with people. This is more authentic.” says Srednicki.
Future goals for the evolving brand include continued brand awareness about their fashionable direction. They began breaking out of their function over fashion mold in 2013, introducing more stylish footwear while maintaining their quality for comfort. Now, the goal is to continue to show the world their new styles and evoke what they are calling the aha moment.
“The minute someone gets a new pair of SAS shoes on their feet, they have an “aha” moment. It’s the moment they discover what it feels like to wear shoes that are comfortable and fashionable!” We like to say, “Style Feels Good!”
Be on the lookout for all the continued innovation at SAS Shoes via their social media and stay tuned for even more fashion news on Style Lush TV.
For even more about SAS Shoes, visit their website at SASShoes.Com